John Patrick Abbott born in Burnley, Lancashire on the 12th April 1902, known during his speedway career as Joe “Iron Man” Abbott.
First record we have found of his riding speedway was at Burnley in 1928 when he would have been 16 years, moving on the following year to Preston perhaps to take part in Preston’s very first meeting in the English Dirt Track League, he remain with the team for two seasons before moving on to Belle Vue Aces in 1932.
He stayed with Belle Vue’s successful team for 6 years from 1932 through to 1939 with the exception of the 1938 season during which I can find no record that he rode for Belle Vue or, indeed, for anyone else, due, I understand, to severe injuries caused by a racing accident during a Test match in Sydney early in 1938.
His period with Belle Vue proved to be a Title winning one with the team being National League Champions in 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, National Trophy Winners 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, A.C.U. Cup Winners 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 and in 1939 the became the British Speedway Cup Winners. Also during this period in 1937, he qualified for the World Final. It is suggested that he, Joe Abbott, and Frank Charles were debatable the best and most exciting pair speedway had seen and some say they still are. Between 1930 and 1939 Joe was capped 15 times but with the start of World War II all league racing stopped and although a few open meeting were held most of the riders were involved in His Majesty’s Services.
Following the war Joe Abbott returned to things speedway, joining the Harringay Racers and it seems producing at least one speedway machines, he was not with Harringay for very long as during the same year 1947 he was racing as captain for Odsal Boomerangs and competed for them till his untimely track death on 1st July 1950, during a match against West Ham, he was 48 years old.
By Jackie H